What: Sycamore Vino Cucina
In a nutshell: All day Italian with a destination bar
Summing it all up: This new Covent Garden Italian sees top chef Paul Robinson inspired by Northern Italy, from the nduja pizzas for breakfast through to hand rolled pasta for dinner.
Having built his career heading up restaurants like Temper and The Coal Shed, chef Paul Robinson has turned to family connections for his new opening. Sycamore Vino Cucina in Covent Garden is an all-day Italian spot that sees Paul using his knowledge of Northern Italy gained from so much time spent there (his wife is Italian) for inspiration.
On the menu you'll find pit-grilled meats, hand-rolled pasta, artisan breads and old-fashioned cured meats, think dishes like Sgombro bruciato (Torched mackerel, horseradish, pomegranate) and Sedano Rapa (Ash-baked celeriac, dates, pickled walnuts, cambozola). "Over the past few months," says Paul., "we’ve been busy sourcing ingredients, speaking to suppliers (both here in the UK and in Italy), and perfecting our dishes."
As for the bar here, that sounds of particular interest - there's loads of space, a whopping 15 different types of Negroni on offer along with Bellinis and ‘Grappa-Tinis’ as well as a wine list focusing on Northern Italian producers.
The restaurant is the main eating place at newly opened hotel Middle Eight, who brought in restaurant consultant Des McDonald (Holborn Dining Room and OKN1) to create it. Breakfast service will be open to guests and non-guest and definitely sounds worth a punt with dishes like Whipped Eggs on Brioche (served with smoked salmon, nduja or avocado) and a Nduja Breakfast Pizza among the morning options.
Later on they'll be opening QT – a subterranean bar, performance venue and screening room which - for history buffs - has been built on the foundations of the old music venue, Kingsway Hall.
More about Sycamore Vino Cucina
Where is it? Middle Eight Hotel, 66 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5BX
When does it open? Open now
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